Personalization is one of the fastest-growing segments within the apparel decoration industry. Customer demand is high, and there is currently a great opportunity for decorators to profit from this trend.
Before, many businesses that wanted to personalize garments – decorating pieces with individual names, numbers and other unique information – found the process too time consuming, labor intensive or costly to make a substantial profit. However, new technological innovations are pushing these obstacles aside.
The most important? Variable data. This technology improves the productivity of digital print companies by significantly reducing the time it takes to create multiple personalized items that are similar in appearance. It works with a number of decoration techniques that are particularly suited for personalization – direct-to-garment printing, sublimation, embroidery, even iron-on transfers.
A variable data solution works by creating customizable templates within a design program. This allows both the text and graphic properties of a design to be swapped or edited without the need to resize or reposition these elements before sending them to print. This makes it ideal for any business that deals with orders from teams, clubs and special events.
Variable data also allows the user to replace personalized text and designs instantly. It uses simple data fields, with the data imported from spreadsheets. All personalization files can be generated on the same server, using fonts with the same appearance, rules and vector engine. This results in consistent, high-quality results that businesses can, and do, depend on.
A common example of this would be a baseball jersey. Each member of the team will have his last name and number on the back of the jersey. Before variable data, it would be a time-consuming process to set up each name and number manually. Variable data allows the names and numbers to be easily swapped out, since the locations of both fields remain the same.
The best part is that variable data solutions gather information from a company’s existing order processing system to automatically create design files based on their customer-approved specifications. This process also helps eliminate production errors, specifically those related to sizing and spelling mistakes. It simplifies the creation of personalized digital print designs.
This technology basically allows a company to design one garment and print many. It’s the perfect solution for companies dealing in mass personalization because a single template can be the basis of hundreds of different garment designs – not just for members of one team or group, but all entities within the same market.
Variable data combines powerful technology with a simple user interface, allowing users to tap into the benefits of design creation and processing while avoiding the complexity of expensive design programs. A variable data engine can be built into existing production processes without difficulty, saving businesses hours of design time that can now be spent focusing on other important aspects of the business. And it works easily. For embroidery, the user clicks on any template and adds in a list of names. Once the names are all entered, an order number is created with a set of barcodes, which can then be printed and scanned directly at an embroidery machine.
When a company experiences phenomenal growth, it is important to have the equipment and systems in place to keep up with increased customer demand. A great variable data solution is streamlined and scalable, growing with your organization and increasing the rate at which orders can be handled and processed without any interruption in terms of quality.
In today’s decorating marketplace, consumers greatly value garments that are personalized. Buyers want to work with decorators who can make it happen. Employing a comprehensive variable data solution has become essential to any business that hopes to provide quick and easy mass personalization of garments to become highly profitable.